• Pet Age Magazine - Issue January 2013, page 25 - PrideBites Announces New Partnerships

    "PrideBites formed regional distributor partnerships with Companion Pet Products, BERR Pet Supply and Waterloo Mills Company that will help expand its line into the West Coast and Mid-West region. The company will also be partnering with 5 Star Marketing for sales representation in the South. PrideBites said they are looking to strategically align its brand with some of the top and most reputable distributors and sales representatives in the industry and think these groups are a perfect fit."

  • Pet Product News - Supplying the Pet Market for More Than 60 Years

    Waterloo Mills Co.
    Waterloo, Iowa

    "Being in the wholesale business for more than 80 years, we have definitely seen some major changes," says Don Michels, president. "But customers still demand excellent service and competitive pricing. We have strived to be honest and have integrity. We just want to treat our customers the way we would want to be treated."

    Waterloo Mills Co., established by Carl Orsinger and Glen Bound in 1924, began as a flour mill that ground wheat into baking flour for shops in eastern Iowa. Before long, area farmers requested agricultural products, including salt, soybean meal and bran.
    "Then they got into chicken feed," Michels says. "At one time, they had 25 percent of the turkey feed business in the state of Iowa. They were a good size company for being a distributor."

    In 1965, the growing city of Waterloo asked the mill to move south of town. The downtown facility generated dust that proved unsightly.

    "In the long run, it turned out good because they got a brand-new warehouse and feed mill," Michels says.

    The company continued to focus on agricultural products, but in the late 1980s, Waterloo Mills began its business relationship with Iams.

    "At that time, we were the exclusive distributor for Iams in Iowa, and things grew from that," Michels says. "We just kept adding more hard goods."

    Today, they no longer distribute Iams, shifting instead to premium pet foods and products. The company distributes 35 percent pet products and 65 percent agricultural products, and covers the upper Midwest from the Dakotas to Illinois.

    "We're pushing harder than ever now," Michels says. "We're getting more lines of pet products in here."